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Josh Bell, Washington Nationals rally for two-game sweep of Toronto Blue Jays

Aug 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) celebrates with right fielder Juan Soto (22) after hitting a three run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) celebrates with right fielder Juan Soto (22) after hitting a three run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell’s three-run seventh-inning homer helped the Washington Nationals rally past the visiting Toronto Blue Jays for an 8-5 win on Wednesday and a sweep of the two-game set.

Juan Soto also had a three-run homer for Washington and Carter Kieboom added a solo shot.

The Blue Jays had taken a 5-4 lead on back-to-back homers by Corey Dickerson and Marcus Semien, his second of the game, in the top of the seventh.

Teoscar Hernandez had a double and his fifth home run in his past seven games for Toronto, which finished 3-5 on its road trip.

Brad Hand (5-7), traded from Washington to Toronto at the deadline, was the primary victim of Washington’s four-run seventh.

Mason Thompson (1-1) pitched 2/3 of an inning for the win and Kyle Finnegan got the final four outs for his fourth save as the Nationals won their second game in a row after losing seven straight.

Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits in five innings, while the Nationals’ Josiah Gray left the game in line for his first major-league win after working six innings and giving up two runs on five hits.

The Nationals jumped on Berrios in the first. Victor Robles singled, and a throwing error by Berrios put runners on first and third for Soto, who lined a 2-0 sinker to left for his 20th homer of the season.

Hernandez homered leading off the second to cut the deficit to 3-1 and Semien’s shot in the third made it 3-2.

The Nationals added a run in the sixth when pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman’s hard grounder got past Semien for a single and Kieboom scored.

In the seventh, Randal Grichuk drew a leadoff walk against Ryne Harper. With one out, Dickerson hit the first pitch he saw into the Nationals’ bullpen and Semien sent the next pitch into the Blue Jays’ bullpen for his 29th home run — and Toronto suddenly led 5-4.

Escobar singled of Adam Cimber leading off the bottom half. Hand came on and, after Soto walked, Bell homered to center on an 0-1 slider, his 20th of the season. One out later, Kieboom homered to left to make it 8-5.

–Field Level Media